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Pagan Blog Project: B: breath The essence of Life and much more


The essence of life and much more

No real introduction to this post.  I am just going to cut to the chase,  This is a post I have been meaning to write for two weeks because there are essentially two key points that I wanted to make with this topic that would benefit two separate posts.  One is on the origin of it’s spiritual component and the other is on a magical aid and as a trance inducing practice.  Like I said both of these posts would be related in that they are both centered around the concept of breath and what it means.

One of the reasons I have both felt the need to write these posts and have been unable to complete or even begin starting these posts is that here in Maine its the middle of winter and that’s bad news for asthmatics like myself.  If I am struggling to breathe properly it makes sense that while I would both be in the perfect state to explain the properties of Breath as life I am also not in the best states to think of anything but focusing on my own breath.

It is with both of these things in consideration (and the personal stress I was feeling for not posting for two weeks at this point) that I have decided to write this post.  I have a lot of different sources to pull on how breath is both life and is also counted to be an aspect and an essence of the soul (though I’ll try to give enough info for you to create your own opinion).  This is a wide topic so let’s start with science and the birth of a human baby and the “actual full death” of a human.

Breath in the human life cycle

After a mother has given birth to her child the doctor slaps the baby on the ass to begin crying and thus start breathing.  A human is not considered alive if they are not breathing.  If a baby does not cry with that action they are not alive and thus need work to be able to breathe or may be considered dead.  In the elderly a person’s whole mind and spirit could be gone yet their body kept alive through food and automatic breathing considered “life support”.

The ability to breath and to have the freedom to some what control one’s breath has always been part of what makes a person alive.  So long as a person is breathing and their body can “physically” function even with the support of machines a person is technically considered alive.  This is a thought and a concept that has been buried deep within human cultures and thoughts for many reasons and a lot of it relates back to lore and mythology.

I mention that this has been buried deep and that would be correct.  There are many different mythologies around the creation of man.  There are two central themes I have found that in the creation of humanity.  One is that we have been physically created out of the earth by the hands of the Gods.  The other is that it wasn’t until the Gods gave us breath that we became fully alive, even if other Gods had contributed other factors to what made a human being, we were not alive until we were given breath by the Gods.

There are two examples that I can think of that support this though. .  While many people may not be able to understand and accept this, when it comes to the creation and what actually brought humans to life Christians and those who follow Germanic paganism have one thing in common: The breath of life from their High God.

I’ll start with the creation myth of humans from the Poetic Edda (one of the Norse and Germanic sacred texts):”

17. Then from the throng | did three come forth,
From the home of the gods, | the mighty and gracious;
Two without fate | on the land they found,
Ask and Embla, | empty of might.

18. Soul they had not, | sense they had not,
Heat nor motion, | nor goodly hue;
Soul gave Othin, | sense gave Hönir,
Heat gave Lothur | and goodly hue.”

Here Soul is often equated with physical life.  The warmth of our body and fact that it actually reflects life was the gift of Honir.  Two of the elements that make humans alive were given from one deity.   The abilities to make sense/understand the world is one of the gifts of the Gods.  That gift was given by Honir.  Finally we have Odin’s gift.  Other translations list Odin’s gift last as it is not until breath and life is actually given to Ash and Embla that the first humans come to life.

As you can see from my analysis soul and breath in Germanic lore are associated.  The breath of life is important.  It enters our body at birth and leaves at Death.  The breath can be seen as being the vessel for the soul.  It enters at birth and leave on death.  That s what the soul is.  In some ways the soul and the mind and the breath can all be linked exactly to life.  The heart starts working before the mind, and the breath.

In the book of Genisis humanity is not aware or alive until God gives them the breath of life:

5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

So that is the connection in the creation of humanity.  In both cultures humans were born from the earth in some form.  In Christianity it’s from dust.  In Germanic lore it’s from trees that we were born.  In both sets of lore it is also only through the gift of the breath of life that humanity becomes aware and able to live.

C: Crafting and Casting simple and easy spells

This weeks blog post is something that has hit at me hard over the years as a practicing witch.  I had for years always figured that I had to have substantial amounts of dried herbs and candle colors, oils, and other assorted objects that cost a lot of money.  For that reason for many years I did not actively try and cast any spells.  I felt that while I considered myself a witch, there was a lack of magical practices in my life.  I felt I couldn’t craft spells because I didn’t have the best herbal selection (and I also had no real idea how to use the herbs in spells) or burn any incense or candles.  I felt that there was no real way I could cast or craft any spells.

I was constantly refining my energy working techniques and manipulation of those energies, but I still felt that things were lacking.  Then one day I had an idea to use yarn, paper, and pens for crafting a spell.  I knew then that there were ways I could craft spells.   I tried two spell experiments and both of them got me the results I wanted, though they took longer to work than I had originally anticipated.   Yet they worked.  I once again felt that I could call myself a witch confidently.

I feel that many new witches feel that they can’t practice spell craft because they can’t buy any fancy tools or they don’t have access to herbs, ect.  This is a common issue that I have come across in my dealings with seekers on the various forums I belong to where I discuss witchcraft with seekers, newbies, experienced, and elders of all sorts.  When I tell them that they don’t need anything more than their mind or even a pen and paper they seem aghast.  So that is where this post is coming from.

Crafting and casting spells

In most spell books there are things like candle colors, herbs, oils, that many people don’t have access to in their early days.  There may even be day and planetary associations which make no sense to a beginner.  They just use the associations because they simply feel that if the spell says they need it then they must need it.  This makes many feel as if they cant actually craft spells.

I mentioned above that I found a solution to my no candles and no oils or herbs situation.  I started to use string of various colors, paper and pencils.  I occasionally had extra coins and flowers.  So I was able to work with them and make some very specific spells for specific situations.  I have since through a project I participated have come to create a new specific style of spell crafting based on reworking spells published and written by others.  I have also learned the simplest fact in spell crafting and casting: Use what you have on hand and what you find works.

In the process of learning the spells can be incredibly simple I also had to relearn and craft my definition of  both spells and magic.  So before I can address how simple a spell and magic is I have to address what magic is and what I consider spells to be.  Once these two concepts have been established I can get onto explaining and elaborating on how with just a piece of paper, a pen, and your imagination you can cast


The force built up during  the casting of a spell or the manipulation and direction of subtle energies towards a specific desire and goal.  The process of manipulating energy towards specific goals.  The result of energy manipulation and direction of intent.   That is magic.  Let’s break it down into simpler explanations for each section.

 The first definition was “The fore built up during the casting of a spell.So Magic is the force built up during the spell.  What is this force?  Well this force is the intent.  It is your desire and emotion.  The first thing when you think about crafting and casting a spell is what are your defined needs and desires for the situations.  It is through working with the emotions associated with the goal that spells gain their true power. This is the intent.

You may be asking what about the colors and the symbols that I often read about in spells and rituals.  Why are they there?  Those  are popular herbal and color symbols that have become associated with certain magical actions and have specific properties.  Their energy is there to add extra power to your spells, but how much is always up to you.  What makes them have power is that you associate them with your intent and thus that has their energy.  You will make this association yourself, but that comes later.  For now all you need is paper and pencils or even just your mind.

Those associations hold energy and power.  These energies and associations come into play within magic.  They can be essential and are very nice tools and toys to play with.  Yet they are not what makes the magic.  What makes the magic is the intent these items and more,

Ok.  So the first aspect of my definition of magic was explained.  The second was the process or manipulation and direction of energy towards specific goals and intents.  This is true.  Spells and rituals are called magical actions because they involve the process of magic.  Each spell and ritual involves the direction and manipulation of various energies.  That process is magic.

When you take the emotion,  intent as well as physical energy, mental focus, and the energy found within the various symbols and associations we develop over time and combine all of these various vibration frequencies into one cohesive item  directing that new energetic form towards an outcome is magic.

Finally magic is the result.  When you add those processes and energies together and you obtain your desire you have effectively worked magic.  Thus magic is the result.  You are crafting magic in the creation of the intent.  You are creating  the magic through the manipulation and creation of the new energetic form.  Finally you receive the magic when you obtain your goal and desire.

To me magic is all of those things at once.  The key behind magic is all three of those definitions in action.  Intent is all you need to start magic as the actions can be mental. but every part of my definition is still in play.  Learning this simple fact which while “hammered” in through many books took several years of failure with both spells and rituals.  Yes I failed.  It was when I started to really apply intent my spells and rituals I started to see how a simple action could actually be a spell.

One of the books that was key to this new inspiration was the book: Instant Magick by Christopher Penczak.  Here I learned how to craft spells and work magic simply by focusing my mind and directing the mental energies towards the desired outcome.  I had been using that type of magic for years with out knowing it.  Now I had learned how to refine it and work with it.

So now that You understand what magic really is to me, the next thing to cover is spells.


Spells are a specific type of magical action.  There are many types of spells.  You have herbal spells which would deal with herbal lore, crystal and gem magical spells which deal with gems and crystals, you have kitchen magic (which involved food as well as oils, soaps, and other objects), you have candle magic which uses primarily candles as their magical  aids, There is the art of evocation which are spells that call and work with specific spirits.  Basically any action performed with an intent towards obtaining a desire and a change in your life could be considered a spell.

I have heard it argued that energy manipulation performed during healing sessions like Reiki, Polarity Treatments, Integrated Energy Therapy, and several others is not a form of magic.  I would have to disagree.  I would call Reiki a very specific type of magic using a specific type of energy.  The energy is manipulated and directed by the practitioner who controls the intent.  You will have to come up with your own decision on if energy work is considered magic or not.

Ok.  Enough of a lecture.  It’s time for you to get your hands dirty and explore magic and energy manipulation  You have to have an idea of what energy feels like in order to be able to direct any sort of energy in spell work and magical workings.  So before I give you an outline for a simple spell for you I want you to understand the nature of the energy we work with when we work magic.

Energy exercise one:

This is a very simple exercise and will form the basic of any simple energy manipulation exercise.  Put aside five minutes to do this exercise.

Sit or stand in a comfortable position.

Rub your hands together vigorously for about 20 seconds.

After rubbing your hands together hold them about 5 inches apart.

Slowly move your hands close to each other until you feel a magnetic “charge” between your hands.

Feel this force and focus on it.

Eventually you’ll be able to manipulate it’s size and shape.  For now just focus on holding that force as long as you can.

Release the energy after the time you set aside and record your results.

Energy exercise two:

Set aside 5 minutes.

During these five minutes focus on nothing but an emotion, a desire, a goal, or an item.

During those five minutes focus all the mental energy into your hands and form that energy into a ball

After the five minutes are up release the thoughts and the energy at the same time.

Record your results in the book.

The second energy exercise listed there is a very simple form of magic called mental magic.  It was the direction of thought and energy towards a specific goal and outcome.  That is indeed magic.  This is the sort of spell craft that requires no tools but your own mind and your own desires.

These sort of spells are what I use more often than not.  I have used these sorts of spells and magical techniques for catching buses when running late, to calm me down before a test, to grant me wisdom and a quick mind when taking tests, for protection driving and in travel, and many other items.

I know not every one is comfortable with visualization and mental exercises.  I said in the beginning of this post that I would provide a simple way of casting spells using house hold objects and now I will.

To craft a simple spell using only pen and paper requires only your imagination and a willingness to give magic a try.

Spell outline

On the paper write out or draw in the center something that represents your goal or need

Focus your emotional thoughts end energy into the writing of the words and the drawing of the images

Fold the paper stating a rhyme or phrase about your desire over and over.

Once the folded paper with your desire has reached a small amulet/charm size that you can carry with you tie the bundle with a knot

Direct the energy raised through the chant and the actions into the object and into the universe.

Carry the new talisman with you until your desire comes true.


Now I’m sure you would like a sample spell that follows that outline so here we go:

Money wish

Materials: Coin Paper Pen Green Ribbon


On the paper write your wish for money to come to you include any details you feel are necessary such as job desires (if employment is what you seek) what you need the money for and any other things that come to mind

Once you have written out a list of what you desire and need the money for place the coin in the middle of the paper Start folding the paper

As you fold the paper state: “Ever shall the money flow to me Free from debt as of now will I be”

Once the paper has been folded into a small bundle that can be kept in the wallet take out the ribbon.

Wrap the folded bundle in the green ribbon several times. As you wrap the bundle repeat the chant above. After several passes tie a knot and place the wrapped bundle into your wallet or pocket until your financial problems cease





Pagan Blog Project: G is for Grounding


Returning to reality

I promised this week that I would have a post containing information and a few exercises on contacting your spiritual guides.  I was not lying.  I realized however that at the end of my work on trance states I never explained exactly why I had the plate of cheese or nuts by your side at the end of the exercises.  To be honest this entry has come out of a need for my to do exactly what this essay is about.

Grounding is the last part of any trance, ritual, magic, or energy work that I do.  It is the also the first thing that I do.  In this way my concept of the circle being the symbol of perfection does into play.  Grounding is what allows us to switch gears and allows us to focus on one specific task or goal at a time.

In some ways I see the techniques of grounding as techniques of getting into a trance or at least of altering ones state.  This is why grounding is the first part of getting into a trance and it is the last part of getting into trance.  For people who suffer from anxiety disorders or even who wish to learn how overcome anxiety before tests, interviews, presentations, ect grounding is a good skill to learn.  It is something that really applies to every day life and all parts of life.

I have somewhat of an anxiety disorder.  When I have worked in fast food I have had the problem of beings one of the few employees who would try and do everything they could.  In many ways this made it harder for me to do my job which was always to take the orders at the front counter.  I ended up over coming my anxiety at being overwhelmed by imagining one leg being a root taking in new energy and the other leg being a root pushing out my anxiety.

What I have just illustrated is a practical use for grounding that allows me to work and earn my own income.  That is a technique that for me connects me to how I truly see the concept of being both grounded and centered,  That illustration for me is that of a tree.  For me the image of a tree becomes very important and you could say that the trees are the the central key to the mysteries as I understand them.

So why are trees sacred to me and why did I use that specific example for grounding?

The first thing that comes to mind for me is my location.  Location and land relationships are very important to me.  I live in Maine.  I constantly see the trees taking nutrients from the ground up to the crown to be filled with the light from the sun back down through the heart to the roots and back into the ground.  For me that is the perfect example of how life is constantly changing and being recycled.  The best form or grounding is one where you don’t remove the energy and emotions that bother you, but transmute it by changing it’s vibration and polarity.  It goes from one state into another at your will.

The manipulation and change of energy from one form to another is the definition of magic.  The only real difference here is that instead of directing the energy out into the world you are directing it through yourself, into the ground and back up into yourself in a different form.  They say that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it simply changes forms.  That is grounding.

So here is your  first exercise:

Grounding energy 1:

Get seated in a comfortable position.  Close your eyes and breath deeply and relax.  Take a few breaths with an inhale of five and an exhale of five.  This will get you ready to focus on the exercise at hand and clear your mind of everything that you have experienced that day.

Place both feet flat on the floor.  From each foot visualize a set of roots connecting and digging you into the earth.  Once you feel as if you are connected with the earth see any energy that feels “off” (anxiety, anger, exhaustion, ect) into the ground through your right leg.  Direct that energy back into the ground around and between your feet.  Once the energy has been reenergized so to speak pull it up with the left body and direct it up towards you crown and into your hands.  With your next exhale release the energy into your body and feel the changed energy.

And there you have it.  Your first exercise with magic.


The Reflection & modifications for other exercises

Now once you have done that exercise a few time write down in your journal how you feel.  The out come of this exercise should be that you are reinvigorated and ready to go.  This is an exercise to relax as well as a grounding exercise.  It’s a grounding exercise because you have come from one state to a more centered state by directing and manipulating various energies.  You have performed a small bit of magic.

The why this exercise works will be discussed in an upcoming post when I deal with the basic Hermetic Philosophy laws and how they apply to magic.  For now I will leave you this photo which describes magical practices perfectly:


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